Nike has been intentional about his and Asia’s commitment to inclusiveness and more specifically, highlighting women in creative spaces. With the recent unveiling of the Swoosh Fly line, Nike followed up with another woman-led project. Kyrie and his sister, Asia, came together to bring us an extremely dope shoe. And they surprised us with a first look at an alternate colorway, during their IG live session. It was amazing to get some insight on how the collaboration came to be, and the details that went into creating this version of Kyrie’s 6th signature model.
It’s always awesome to see the people behind the scenes give their account of the creative process. Yet, watching Kyrie and Asia talk about how they spawned this masterpiece, was a tad bit different. A brother and sister speaking on how their childhood dreams came to fruition, at the most prestigious athletic apparel company in the world, is inspiring to say the least. When you look at the finished product, you can plainly see it was birthed out of love, and the creator wanted it to be more than just something that looked nice to hoop in.
At Kyrie’s behest, Asia jumped in the driver’s seat for this ride and it was truly a family affair. Asia drew inspiration from all the powerful women in her life, and additonally, paid homage to her family as well. She placed her and Kyrie’s mom’s birthday on the shoe, and also added Azurie’s (Kyrie’s daughter) name as well. Their mom passed away in 1996, so it was important for her to be commemorated in a special way. Asia really wanted to tell a story with the shoe. While many would feel limited in this regard, while designing a sneaker, she unleashed the full range of her creative prowess, and was able to tell her story vividly.
This shoe is like a rapper crafting their debut album. When Jay-Z made Reasonable Doubt, he poured all his life’s experiences up to that point, into 15 tracks. The Kyrie 6 Asia Love is a composite of Kyrie and Asia’s experiences over the last nearly 30 years. They talked about how they had conversations as kids, about Asia designing a sneaker for Kyrie when he made it to the NBA. Delusions of grandeur by a couple of kids in a New Jersey home, turned into reality. When asked where her creative inspiration comes from, Asia said, “the ultimate goal is to be a kid again.” Kyrie’s success as a basketball player came from a promise he made as a fourth grader, that he was going to play in the NBA. To see the innocence of their dreams, become tangible through a project of this magnitude, is extremely fulfilling for them.
Asia wants this shoe to be a reminder to aspiring creators, to not let themselves get boxed in or confined by society. Her advice to them is “Just go for it. Don’t care what anybody thinks.” Her own foray into the fashion industry was unconventional. Initially, it was challenging for her to find her own lane, but eventually she just relied on her own vision. Asia uses her creativity to find her true inner self, so naturally, her personality would be reflective in her work.
That’s why this iteration of the Kyrie 6 nearly serves as an Irving family scrapbook. “For the love of the art” is inscribed on the tongue of one shoe. “For the love of the game” is inscribed on the other. Art and hoops are the childhood loves of the Irving siblings. Keeping the love for what inspired them, at the center of everything they do, is important to both Asia and Kyrie.
Asia was intent upon creating something with a purpose behind it. She used purple on the shoe to represent royalty and empowerment, and added bright red/orange to emphasize boldness and creativity. These characteristics have helped her move forward in her passion, without being afraid to explore and create things that are true to her. The smallest details in the shoe are uniquely Asia Irving. Even the camo-print on the upper part of the shoe, was inspired by one of her favorite thrifted shirts. Having the freedom and confidence to make your work an extension of you, and not feel obligated to create something tailored to the rest of the world – is liberating.
The Kyrie 6 Asia Love looks amazing, and we definitely love the sneak peek of the black colorway. We’re looking forward from more from Asia, as she continues to be a trailblazer in the fashion industry, as we continue to support Kyrie as well, while he lends his voice to social justice awareness.